Channel NewsAsia

Fukushima food imports safe for consumption: AVA

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore says it has control and surveillance testing measures in place to ensure Japanese imports, particularly those from Fukushima, are free from radiation contamination. 

SINGAPORE: To address public concern over the safety of food imports from Fukushima, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) released an infographic and a list of answers to frequently asked questions on Friday (July 11).  

Singapore announced on May 31 that it would lift restrictions on all Japanese food imports. These restrictions were imposed on several prefectures after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

Following the incident, the AVA said it implemented a series of import control measures and surveillance testing on Japanese food imports. As of this month (July 2014), it has tested over 18,000 samples of food from Japan. Of these, radioactive contaminants were detected in 0.14 per cent, with most of the detections taking place in 2011 shortly after nuclear accident.

“Since January 2013, AVA has not detected any radioactive contaminants in food from Japan,” it said. “The AVA’s surveillance results are corroborated by Japanese surveillance results. There are also no recent reports by other countries of any significant detection of radioactive contaminants in food from Japan.”  

In March this year, the AVA also conducted an on-site inspection in Japan to review its food safety system, and said it was "satisfied that Japan has implemented sufficient measures to mitigate the risk of radioactive contaminants in food products".

Other safety measures are also in place, including the following: 

  • The import of food or agricultural products from restricted areas in Fukushima that are close to the nuclear power plant are not allowed.
  • The import of seafood as well as products from the forest of Fukushima prefecture are not allowed.
  • Before food can be imported from other parts of Fukushima (away from the nuclear plant), Japanese authorities must show evidence that food from these areas are free from radioactive contaminants.

There are strict rules governing the import of food products from prefectures around Fukushima as well.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia